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Distance/Online Education

Mission Statement

The Ellender Memorial Library supports NSU’s mission to “commit itself to offering an excellent comprehensive education, including a majority of nationally accredited programs, that meets the needs of the communities it serves in south central Louisiana and beyond through teaching, research and service.” As part of that mission, the library aims to meet the needs of Distance Education students by meeting various Distance / Distributed Education support criteria defined by The Association of College and Research Libraries in 2008:

  • Providing access to adequate library services and resources. Members of the distance learning community are entitled to library services and resources equivalent to those provided for students and faculty in traditional campus settings.
  • Instilling lifelong learning skills through general bibliographic and information literacy instruction. The library attempts to meet this need through its web presence, e-mail contact, and phone contact.
  • Providing highly personalized library services to offset the lack of daily contact that on-campus students receive.
  • Providing funding for ready and equivalent library service and learning resources to all students, regardless of location.
  • Acting as a liaison between the library and other complementary resource bases such as computing facilities, instructional media, and telecommunication centers.
  • Assuring that distance learning library programs meet or exceed national and regional accreditation standards and professional association standards and guidelines, by conducting ongoing assessments and acting on those evaluations.

Information Delivery Services – from the Nicholls Library Collection to Online and Distant Learning Students and Faculty

Current Nicholls students and faculty [1] living outside of Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes and not attending or teaching any class(es) on the Thibodaux Campus or [2] having a verified disability or extended illness that renders them house-bound may obtain many materials from the Library through the following information delivery services:

-  A certain number of books and other tangible material available only in non-electronic format and for general twenty-one day circulation outside the Library will, on request of User Services and within or about twenty-four hours of receipt of such request (excluding weekends and holidays), be mailed each academic quarter without charge to the non-Lafourche or Terrebonne Parish or home-bound user at her/his non-Lafourche or Terrebonne Parish or home-bound residence, as follows –

•  A total of 5 items per academic quarter to undergraduate students,

•  7 to graduate students, and

•  10 to faculty, for timely return to the Library at the user’s expense.

Once a book or other item has been charged out to a student or faculty member and placed in the Library’s out-going mail holding area, said user is as responsible for the safe-and-sound care and timely return of said item at the Library’s Circulation Desk (by carrier or in person) as he/she would be had he/she come to the Library and checked the item out in person.

-  Articles available at the Library in print only will, on request of Access and Delivery Services, be forwarded by reply e-mail attachment(s) to the non-Lafourche or Terrebonne Parish or home-bound student or faculty member within or about twenty-four hours of receipt of the request (excluding weekends and holidays).

-  Services for the delivery of books and articles are generally provided on a first-requested-first-served basis.  However, when a user has on order at any time more than five items (books, articles, or a combination of both), her/his requests are filled five-at-a-time in order of receipt  –  with all then remaining requests, whenever received, being moved to the bottom of the items-requested queue  …  to work their way up to the top for service (again, first-five-requested only).  In the application of this sharing-of-resources rule, orders including more than one article are counted as the lesser of two articles or a combined number of pages not in excess of 100 (or 3 articles or 150 pages, 4 articles or 200 pages, or 5 articles or 250 pages).

-  Having ready access to the Library and its print materials, any non-homebound user living or frequently in Lafourche or Terrebonne Parish who requests and is sent books, articles, and other materials through this information delivery service shall be assessed and pay a full $20.00 per item processing-and-forwarding charge.

Using LOUIS and the Union Catalog to Find Books Near You

Whenever you search our e-Library and get zero hits, you can use the the LOUISiana Library Catalog link on the library’s homepage to find out if an academic library near you has the book, video, or periodical (a scholarly journal or a magazine) in its collection. Use the following steps to complete this search:

  • Scroll down the menu on the left hand side of the library’s homepage and click the link for LOUISiana Libraries Catalog. This link will take you to the Welcome to the LOUISiana Union Catalog page.
  • In the top left corner, and on the bottom left, you will see a link that allows you to search the Union Catalog. This means that you can simultaneously search every academic library catalog in Louisiana at once.
  • Once you have clicked on the link, check the box which says All Libraries. By the same token, you can check off only certain libraries, if you are geographically limited.
  • Once you have done this, scroll back up to the top left of the page and type in your search term(s). Make sure you click on the correct type of search for your term, with the choices of Author, Title, Subject, and Keyword.
  • Your results list will have blue hyperlinks to the catalogs of libraries that have the item you are looking for.

For example, if you were looking for the title Hooked on Horror: A Guide to Reading Interests in the Genre, you would type in hooked on horror and click where the grey box says Title. The results list shows that at least fifteen libraries own that title, and one of them is Louisiana State University. If you lived in Baton Rouge or in the vicinity, you could find out about Middleton Library’s (LSU) reciprocal borrowing privileges using LaLINC cards. This means that you, as a Nicholls student, may have borrowing privileges at Middleton or you can check to see if Middleton Library offers courtesy cards, for check out privileges, to patrons who are not students. As is the case with this particular example, in which the book is a reference book (reference books are non-circulating), you could go to the library and use the book, without having to inquire about special cards.

Helpful Websites
The following is a list of websites that act as Distance Education information kiosks or virtual reference desks:

  • The American Center for the Study of Distance Education
    The ACSDE conducts empirical research that adds to the educational knowledge base, disseminates this research and practice-based knowledge about distance teaching and learning through publications and professional development activities, and provides distance education program evaluation services to academic units and external partners. Click on the Resources link.
  • The Educator’s Reference Desk Distance Education Guide
    Includes links to articles, studies, and discussions.
  • Distance Educator
    A comprehensive collection of distance education resources. Click on the Learners link to test your capacities for being a distance education student.
  • RefDesk
    This is the web’s best “virtual library,” hands down. Sites have already been evaluated.
  • The Internet Public Library
    This is similar to RefDesk, but is not as easy to use, as it uses the directory structure popularized by Yahoo. Sites have already been evaluated.
  • The WWW Virtual Library
    Sites arranged in a directory structure.
  • Why Evaluate Websites?
    Though this is not a virtual library, this site is an excellent introduction to the importance of website evaluation.

Other helpful information is available on the Help page, Student Portal, and the University Studies Subject Guide.

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